What’s Next for Enterprise Storage?

We are in a period of extraordinary innovation and growth in the use of information technology. Technology has reshaped industries and changed our lives by harnessing the power of information.

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi 

Think of Google in advertising, Netflix in home entertainment, Airbnb in travel, Uber in transportation. The list goes on and will continue to grow. IDC says we are in the midst of an innovation explosion that will accelerate over the next five years as organizations commit to digital transformation on a massive scale.

At the heart of it all is data: what we create, how we create it, where we create it, how we access it, how we manipulate it, how we analyze it, and how we use it to drive innovation and competitive advantage. To get to the next level of innovation, we need our enterprise storage systems to do more, and we need them to do everything faster. All-flash storage was the first step in modernizing the data center.

But we also need technologies that unleash the maximum performance from flash and colocate multiple workloads and data streams, making it easier and faster for applications that support decision support systems to gather and analyze the data. This will not only accelerate big data analytics, traditional enterprise data warehousing and high-performance computing, but also combine them to drive new levels of actionable insights and results.

Modern interior of server room in datacenter

Modern interior of server room in datacenter

But there’s an important reality IT organizations are confronting: In too many instances, storage infrastructure is a bottleneck rather than an accelerator. That’s because too many organizations rely on outdated architectures that simply can’t keep up with demands that go beyond higher capacity.

Even flash-based solutions such as hybrid flash storage and all-flash arrays are unable to deliver the substantial throughput, high IOPS and low latency necessary to deal with the huge data sets and real-time availability associated with analytics and big data workloads.

As important as flash storage has become for every application and workload, many of today’s flash-based systems are still based on storage architectures rooted in the days of spinning disks.

A new storage approach is essential. The good news is that such an approach has materialized, in the form of rack-scale flash.

Those not yet familiar with the technology—and trust us, you will want to know everything you can about it soon—are undoubtedly struggling to keep up with performance requirements for such advanced use cases as gene sequencing, money-laundering prevention and investigation, seismic modeling, multi-model databases, and more.

That’s where rack-scale flash shines. Rack-scale flash such as DSSD D5, developed and brought to market by storage market pioneer and leader EMC, was built from the ground up using engineering concepts optimized for high-performance applications that are more demanding than ever before. Constructed as a shared-flash appliance, it acts as a common storage resource for as many as 48 connected redundant servers. Just how well suited is rack-scale flash to today’s and future performance-intense analytics workloads? Consider these DSSD D5 metrics:

More than 10 million IOPS
Sub-100 microsecond latency
Throughput of 100 GB per second
Such performance makes rack-scale flash and DSSD D5 up to 10 times faster than today’s fastest storage systems using even the newest traditional flash storage. Add to that the fact that compared with typical all-flash arrays, rack-scale flash platforms cut total cost of ownership by two-thirds, shrink data center storage footprints by as much as 25 times and offer a 10-times reduction in latency perhaps the most critical factor in ensuring that high-performance workloads can be executed seamlessly and reliably and in real time.

The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Sub Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email [email protected] or direct Cell: 0775 380 652 for all the latest trending technological issues in and outside Zimbabwe.

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